Steer-Aid Clinic Teaches Youth

WW Feed & Supply’s Steer-Aid Clinic on June 9-10 drew participants from throughout Southeast Colorado. Novices learned how to clip and fit, while more experienced showman refined their skills.

ROCKY FORD – Southeast Colorado youth, plus some of their parents, got a weekend education from “Stock Show University.”

Youth from Cotopaxi to Holly, and Calhan to Trinidad participated in WW Feed & Supply’s Steer-Aid Clinic on June 9-10 here. Show calves filled the Arkansas Valley Fairground livestock barn, despite Saturday’s record high temperatures.

Sullivan Supply’s “Stock Show University” was a part of the hands-on beef clinic, which focused on feeding and nutrition, daily hair and animal care, show day grooming and showmanship. Paul Hill of Ft. Morgan; Curt Russell of Sugar City; and Brad Linton, Torrington, WY were the instructors.

Calves were all weighed so the 4-H’ers could calculate their animal’s needed gain before their respective fairs and Russell discussed beef nutrition. Each 4-H or FFA project was evaluated, so targets could be set individually.

In the clipping and show-day grooming portion, for example, Hill & Linton demonstrated technique, then the youth went to their own steer or heifer and practiced.

Expert Paul Hill helps Mackenzie Mayo on clipping during the WW Feed & Supply Steer-Aid Clinic. Each participant received individual guidance throughout the June 9 & 10 event. Mayo’s 1055-pound steer went on to win the steer jackpot show.

“Every artist draws a picture differently. We’re just artists with our calves,” Hill said, as he and partner Linton sculpted a steer’s hair to demonstrate how to emphasize the animal’s strength and diminishing the flaws. The men then sent the youth back to their fitting chutes to be “artists” on their own animals. One-on-one suggestions were given as the instructors helped the youth on each step. By the end of the two-day clinic, the whole steer was clipped and groomed.

While about 20 youth brought their calves, a handful of 4-H and FFA participants “borrowed” extra projects to clip, fit or show. Parents joined in on the lessons to better support the youth, with younger siblings pitching in. The Russell family provided the weekend meals.

Brad Linton of Torrington, WY, demonstrated a grooming technique, while Paul Hill of Fort Morgan explains the steps in the second day of the WW Feed & Supply Steer-Aid Clinic in Rocky Ford.

The hands-on teaching style was also used in the showmanship session, with the clinic instructors demonstrating and then actually holding a showmanship contest, sponsored by Bent-Prowers Cattle & Horse Growers Association.

Russell explained the showmanship contest had divisions based on years in the beef project, not on age of the exhibitor like most contests. Since it was skill-level based, the youth could be reinforced or corrected, as necessary, while they were in the ring, and their animals could practice too.

Jim Hartman of Pueblo was the judge on Sunday. Showmanship winners, earning monetary rewards from Bent-Prowers Cattlemen, were:

• Experienced skill level – Laney Sheppard of Pueblo, first; Rhett Larsen of Swink, second; Rhett Hinkle of Fowler, third. In addition to judging their presentation of their animal, Hartman had the older members give a public impromptu speech about their animal’s strengths. The older group also answered the judge’s individual questions about feeding rate, rate of gain, etc.

• Intermediate skill level- Tricia Acton of Canon City, first; LaKota Roberson of Eads, second; Dalton Parks of Calhan, third.

• Novice skill level – Becca Young of Blende, first; Cody Shue of Pueblo, second; and Cole Miller of Beulah, third.

Judge Jim Hartman is shown with the payout winners in the steer jackpot June 10. From left, are Mackenzie Mayo, Rhett Larsen, Laney Sheppard, and Tricia Acton with their steers.

The clinic ended with a jackpot show, also officiated by Hartman. There was a single class of breeding heifers, and four classes of steer prospects. Participants paid a fee, with 100-percent payout back based on entry numbers. The top 3 places in each class were:

• Breeding heifers – Theresa Butler of Holly, champion; and Chad Russell of Sugar City, reserve; Cole Miller, 3. Payout was to two places on heifers.

• 905-995# steers – Tricia Acton, 1; Becca Young, 2; & Sara Reyher of McClave, 3.

• 1023-1075# steers – Mackenzie Mayo of Cheraw, 1; Dalton Park of Calhan, 2; & Kolton Aubuchon of Hoehne, 3.

• 1120-1175# steers – Rhett Larson, 1; Laney Sheppard, 2; and Rhett Hinkle, 3.

• 1215-1340# steers – Sam Rink of Lamar, 1; Chad Russell, 2; Cody Shue, 3.

Payout was to four places, with overall steer winners: Mackenzie Mayo, champion; Rhett Larsen, reserve; Laney Sheppard, 3; and Tricia Acton, 4.


Filed Under: AgriculturecommunityCountyEducationYouth


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